One of the first things I do every morning is look at myself in the mirror. What I should see is a mid-thirties mom of three ready to take on the day. But what I often see is my post c-section tummy. My undefined cheekbones and what I consider a double chin.
Then I walk over to the scale. It makes or break time. Sadly this stupid scale can start my day off with a bang or take the joy out of my morning.
I used to weigh myself several times a day. Before and after I went to the bathroom. In the middle of the night. Right after dinner. All to make sure the scale is going in the right direction. Although I don’t do that anymore I have always had somewhat of an obsession with my weight.
While I’m not obese, I do not have that ‘perfect body’ and am still trying to accept that. For the past twenty-five years or so I have had a narrative in my head on a loop telling myself that I am not enough because I’m not a size small.
And it is exhausting.
For the first time ever I am saying this out loud. I am finally putting my thoughts into words and wonder am I the only one who feels this way? I can’t be, right? I really try to accept my body and be healthy and happy. But as long as I can remember it has always been at the forefront of my mind.
My closet has clothes from a size eight to a fourteen. I am constantly buying clothes. Constantly in the search for the perfect top that skims over my c-section belly pooch. My closet is broken up into three categories: what fits me, what is too big, and my ‘goal’ clothes.
I hate that I look back at my wedding pictures and I don’t like what I see. I hate that instead of just enjoying the afternoon at the pool with my kids I am constantly comparing myself to other women. I hate that I get mad at myself for eating a piece of cake during a family birthday party. I hate that my flaws can take the joy out of a moment for me.
Recently I had a baby girl and realized that I need to break myself of these habits. I want to be a positive influence on my daughter and her self-esteem. I know that if I cut myself down in front of her she will probably do the same to herself. She is beautiful and ‘perfect’ just the way she is. Why don’t I think the same way about myself?
So I’ve decided I can’t keep this up or it will drain every ounce of happiness out of me. I know I can’t change a lifetime of thinking in one minute, but I can make small changes that will hopefully let me accept myself fully. Is that to eat more mindfully and live a healthy lifestyle? Yes, of course, I constantly work on that, but there is more to that in the grand scheme of things.
So I’m making tiny steps to change my narrative one thought at a time. I need to keep telling myself that my husband and children think I am beautiful the way I look right now. They don’t care if my abs aren’t rock solid. Just because I’m not a size two doesn’t mean I’m any less worthy of happiness than anyone else.
Do you want to know what my major epiphany from writing this is? Being skinny does not guarantee happiness. Life is so short that I need to find my happy right where I am at this moment. Life is so good, but I seem to be missing some of it because I’m wrapped up in my own head.
So, while I can’t promise you I’m going to throw out my scale tomorrow, I can promise that I am going to consciously make an effort to remember these things on a daily basis. And that in doing so my happiness won’t revolve around a number on a scale.